Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Colourpop Lux Lipsticks



Top to bottom: lay over, still crazy and uno mas


I have been a huge fan of Colourpop since it's launch all of those years ago. It is one of the only American brands which I am willing to spend the shipping and delivery costs on, because everytime I order something I am always impressed. It is a budget brand which is always competing with high end brands in America due to its impressive quality of all of their products. 

I recently saw the launch of their Lux Lipsticks and the pictures and videos got me very excited. There is no denying I am a lipstick lover, but I have actually not bought any actual lipsticks in quite a while. I have been loving liquid lipsticks for a long time now, and I definitely deserted my classic lipsticks. I was very excited for these to arrive, and as always they are a great product.

There is no denying this packaging is beautiful, but they definitely resemble Charlotte Tilbury's brand as her packaging is a full rose gold tube. However, these do differ in terms of having a star design all over them and it is a bigger tube. I think the packaging is lovely, and it does give it a luxury feel. 

I picked up three shades from this line, and I am very happy with them all. It is a full coverage lipstick line which are very pigmented and you only need one swipe to achieve a full application. The lipsticks glide on to the lips very easily and instantly feel soft and smooth, which is a massive bonus for me as I have very dry lips at the moment. The formula isn't thick or chunky, and it doesn't settle into the creases of my lips. It dries down to a semi-matte finish but it still feels comfortable and creamy. 

I have been wearing lay over the most which is a massive surprise me, as I usually love more pinky toned shades. This a brown toned rosy beige but I can also see some plum tones running through it, when I first applied it it reminded me of Charlotte Tilbury's stoned rose which is one of my most used lipsticks ever. It is one of those lipsticks you can leave in your handbag and it will go with whatever you are wearing for any occasion. I have been totally loving this, and if you are making an order definitely add this to your basket.

Still crazy is a classic 'me' shade. Like I just say I naturally venture towards any lipsticks which have a pink tone to them. This is just that, it is a mid toned rosy pink but it has this beautiful mauvy tone through it which makes it a little bit more purple toned and I love that about it. I am not into bright fuchsia pinks, I like something a little more subtle with a darker undertone to it. This is going to be my new go to night time lipstick as it is so beautiful.

Uno mars is the shade I was most surprised about when it arrived. I had watched a YouTube video from Kathleen Lights where she swatched all of the shades, and from that this was the one I decided I had to have no matter what. However, when she swatched and applied it to her lips it looked much darker. It is definitely lighter than I thought it would be, but that is what I have been enjoying. There is no denying that I already have a lot of nudes shades so this is definitely going to add some variety to my collection. It is a peachy toned nude which I would instantly describe as coral. I know I will get so much wear out of this in the Summer, and I can imagine wearing it day or night to add some brightness and flare to my makeup. 

As you can probably tell I have been very happy with all three of these shades, and once again Colourpop have brought out a great line of budget lipsticks which are all excellent quality. These are all $7 each which is just over £5 when converted. I can not think off the top of my head any brands in the UK which have lipsticks which costs £5 and are as good as these. Colourpop please come to the UK as soon as possible, however that would definitely lead me to making weekly orders!

In terms of shipping and delivery costs, I always try and order from the brand when they are offering free delivery in America. If you order less than £15 worth of products when converted from dollars to pounds you do not have to pay any import costs. A few years ago, I wrote a full post about how to ship things over the cheapest way which you can read here. Import costs can add a lot on the overall price of your package, and a budget friendly order suddenly turns into not being such a bargain any more. I always do a quick conversion to see what dollars to pound is currently worth. When I ordered these $21 was just less than £15, so I got away with no import fees. The time before this, I got caught out and I had to pay £13 in import fees.

I cannot wait to make my next order and I definitely have my eyes on their new foundation.

Lucy 
xoxo

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Becca Champagne Pop Highlighter





Buying a Becca highlighter has been at the top of my makeup must have list for a while now. However, they do not come cheap at £32, but as a beauty blogger of nearly five years I needed to finally try one. I have heard nothing but positive things about these highlighters, and boy were those bloggers right.

I am a big fan of Jaclyn Hill and I have been watching her YouTube channel way before I started my own beauty blog. I always think she is honest and when she announced her collab with Becca to create a highlighter, I was very, very excited. This launch was a while back now, and I could just never spare with the cash up until now. Cult Beauty had a Becca event on, and all products had 25% off so I thought it was time to take the splurge and champagne pop was finally mine.

I can only summarise my thoughts by saying, every time I have worn makeup since purchasing champagne pop it has been the only highlighter I have used. I just cannot get over just how beautiful it really is. For once in my life, I think this is a perfect example of how high end brands exceed with putting higher quality ingredients into their products, as this is something sensational. This is a light golden shade which has shimmering pink and peachy undertones running through it.

Whether you swatch or apply with a brush it has a light buttery texture which applies like a dream. It contains no harsh glitter and you cannot feel it on your skin. I am not a lover of heavy glitters in highlighters, but this has just the perfect amount of shimmer and shine. It has taken me a few applications to get the hang as to how much to apply, all I can say is a little bit goes a long way. I literally swipe my Real Techniques highlighter brush once into the product, and that is more than enough to highlight my cheekbones, nose and cupids bow. I feel that it has a foiled effect to it and that is what makes this so unique, as it is so finely milled together into the pan.

I think this highlighter would suit a lot of skin tones due to the golden warmer undertones. I was initially a little bit worried about the warmer tones and that they would be a little bit too dark for me, but mixed with the peachy pink tones it definitely makes it a great match. I have been telling everyone who will listen about this highlighter as I am in love. I have got a feeling all of my other highlighters are going to be collecting dust for a while. The pan contains 8g and I know that this will last me for ages. I have already got my eye on a few of the other shades especially lilac geode.

Lucy
xoxo





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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Primark K Pop Beauty





I recently saw on Primark's Instagram page that they have released a new line of products called K Pop. Primark has taken the world by storm with their skincare and makeup products this last few months. Within the last year or so they have released a lot of new line and products, and I have been wanting to try some of them out. We all know that Korean beauty has been leading the way with beauty innovations for a long time now, and this collection is inspired by the best products which they have released.

I picked up two different lip products one called pillow talk (£2.50) which is a matte lip cushion formula in the shade jelly bean, this is a mid toned pinky coral which I am hoping will be great in the summer to add some vibrancy. I also picked up one of their jelly belle lipsticks (£2) in the shade daisy chain, which when I have tried it is an opaque light pink shade. This is soft and smooth when applying it to the lips, and adds some nourishment which is always an added bonus.

I was very excited when I saw this palette on the display. This blush and highlighter palette is called sweet cheeks (£5), and contains 4 beautiful shades. Usually within a highlighter palette there is at least one shade which I know I will never use, but in this the 4 different colours are all beautiful and I will be using them all. I like the versatility of this as well, as I have been wanting to try a lilac highlighter for ages but I have always been scared as I was unsure as to how it would look on my skin. However, jelly bean is a light icy toned shade and I am hoping it looks just as good on the skin as in the packaging. I think I will only be using bon bon which is a lovely rich pink for a blush, as the tones through it are a bit too bright to use as a highlighter. The other two shades lemon sherbet and candy floss, will look great to add glow to anywhere I want to!

I was intrigued by some of the skincare products which they have brought out in this K Pop range. The first thing from the line which I picked up are some blemish blasters (£1.50) which are clear patches which contain spot clearing ingredients such as salycilic acid, I love the idea of these and cannot wait to try these out. I also picked up dreamy lips (£1.50) which is a 2 step lip scrub and mask. Step 1 is an ultra hydrating exfoliating lip mask and step 2 is a sleeping lip mask, I am hoping these work well with my current ultra dry and flaking lips. Blooming beautiful (£1.50) is a set of cooling, calming eye pads. This pack contains 6 pads, which sound fantastic and I cannot wait to use these after a stressful day. Lasting I picked up a pack of 2 tweezers which have panda and rabbit faces on them, I just thought these were really cute.

Have you tried anything from this new range?

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Months 2 and 3 on Roaccutane


So here we are nearing the end of month 3 on roaccutane, and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by. I went to see my dermatologist at the end of month 2 and some changes were implemented. If you want a quick summary of what happened in month one you can read it here.

At the start of month 2, my skin broke out and I ended up with a line of five spots across the side of my head. I have found that it is taking weeks and weeks for the spots to heal as they crust over and then the new skin now takes much longer to replenish. During month 2 I have had less of my normal pus filled spots across my chin which I have been very happy about.

In the last post I mentioned how dry my skin has got and I think it is getting a little bit better. I have been applying copious amounts of moisturiser day and night and it has definitely been helping. My nose was flaking with dry skin non stop and my makeup was constantly clinging to it. I have been using a facial scrub around my nose to get rid of all the excess flaking which I have found to be working really well.

My lips are still causing me the most problems of all. They are still very, very dry. I have lots of lip balms and I have had some cracks form in the side of my lips. I feel like no matter what I do until I end my treatment my lips are going to be in this condition. I just need to keep on with applying the lip balms and hopefully no further problems will occur.

With the arrival of this sunny weather which we have been lucky enough to have, I have found out that my skin definitely burns easier and becomes much more irritated in the sun. I have purchased some factor 50 and I have been applying it whenever the sun decides to make an appearance. I have also bought from Primark a lip balm with also contains factor 50 which has been so useful, and I am definitely going to stock up on them for the summer as a normal lip balm just does not do the trick.

When I went to the last dermatologist appointment at the end of month 2 he asked me how I was getting on, he said he would now be putting me on 50mg upping me from my original 40mg dose. I have been on the 50mg for three weeks as I write this post and there is one side effect in particular which I have noticed, and that is that twice a week I have been getting really bad headaches. I have always got the occasional headaches but with some analgesia they always go away within a short period of time. I am not sure whether they have been migraines but my head has felt like it is exploding and I have been bed bound. I have decided that if these continue I am going to drop back down to 40mg, and then discuss it with my dermatologist who I have a meeting with mid June when it will be the end of month 4.

I do not know what it is or whether it is just my hospital but I feel like they always want me in and out as quick as possible. The appointments are always running late, this time it being an hour and when I get in there I feel like he seemed really disinterested. I always go with a mental list of everything I want to ask as otherwise I would definitely walk out without my questions being answered. I asked him if he thinks that 6 months would be the total treatment time, but he just shrugged and said I don't know. I know he can not guarantee how long I will be on the treatment, but some positivism and reassurance would have been nice. By the next appointment I will be at the end of my month 4, and hopefully my skin will have continued to improve and I will get a better indicated as to how long I need to continue taking them for.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream


I have heard a lot about First Aid Beauty as a brand in the past few months, and I was intrigued to try some products from them. My skin is the driest it has ever been at the moment, and I have been keeping a tube of their ultra repair cream in my handbag at all time. This costs £10 for 56.7g which I think is pretty good value for money. This is a thick emollient cream which rubs in well and hydrates deep down into the skin. This contains some great ingredients which all have enriching properties such as oatmeal, shea butter and eucalyptus oils.

This is advertised as useful for very dehydrated or irritated skin and mine has been both. The brand says it is good for common skin conditions which cause these problems such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, those living in harsh weather conditions and those under going aggressive cosmetic treatments. The cream feels nice and cooling when first applied to the skin and it creates a natural barrier. It also does not contain any harsh parabens, chemicals or colourings which could cause some irritations or reactions to the skin.

When you go from having a normal skin type to it turning very dry over a short period of time, it can very difficult to decide which products are best to use. I have purchased quite a few different emollient type products since I started on this acne treatment, as it is really hard to know what is and what isn't going to work on your skin. I have found that this ultra repair cream has been a great all round product. I have never tried Elizabeth Arden's 8 hour cream mainly due to the price, however they both have the concept of a multi-purpose product. This ultra repair cream like I say, you can throw it in your handbag and use it on what ever part of your skin is feeling dry when ever you need to. For me it is mainly my hands which get the driest and applying this takes away the irritation and itch which can get very red, sore and sometimes painful.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 29 April 2018

Ilse of Sark










In my Guernsey travel post which you can read here, I mentioned that we went on a day trip to the Isle of Sark whilst on our holidays in the Channel Islands. It is a small island which has a population of just 425. We got the boat over from Guernsey which took about 40 minutes. A return ticket costs £30, which was a very pleasant journey. We were told to look out for bottlenose dolphins and puffins, and on the day we went the weather was beautiful but unfortunately we did not see any on the journey there or back.

Once on the island their main tourist attraction is to get a horse drawn carriage around the island with a tour guide. They have no forms of transport except bicycles to get around. The roads are that narrow nothing would ever get down, and the island is so small I reckon you could walk from one end to the other within two hours. The island is under the state of Guernsey, however has its own parliament to oversee the overall running of the island.

We booked on to a horse drawn carriage tour and went for a look around the island. Some of the houses are beautiful all in the traditional cottage style, most houses are passed down the family line and house prices were expensive. We went on a one and hour tour around the island stopping off along the way to take in the views and take some photos. The tour was a great way to see the island, but lots of other tourists hired bicycles.

What I really found interesting was how different life on the island really was. They have a row of shops as soon as you get on to the island with a supermarket and post office. They have only one doctor and one dentist, and any kind of in depth treatment takes place on the mainland in Guernsey. They have a fire brigade and police service who work part time. They also have a two person prison but they try not to use it due to the costs, and I got the impression it is barely ever used. There are a few little tea shops to stop and have cake and a drink at. We stopped at a little cafe which had an outdoor garden where we ate a lovely dinner in the sun. For the size of the island the church is large, it  is beautiful and you can go inside to have a look around.

There is a campsite and some guest houses which you can stay at on the island if you want to stay a little longer and explore the island further. It was a lovely day trip to the island and if you are visiting The Channel Islands, a visit to Sark is definitely worth it.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Guernsey


My latest trip took me to The Channel Islands, and we decided to stay on the island of Guernsey. My parents visited when I will a toddler and said the island was beautiful so we were all excited to go and explore.

Unfortunately on the Monday which we flew out the plane was delayed. From Guernsey there are only a few flights a day from the UK. We flew from Manchester, and finally after a two hour delay and an airport evacuation we were on the plane. On landing there was a lot of fog and wind so we ended up hovering over the island for about an hour until it was safe to land. As the Channel Islands are to the south of the UK, right next to France the weather is all round much hotter than in the UK. We stayed in St. Martins which is a location which I would definitely recommend staying at if you visit Guernsey. We stayed in the Del La Mar Court self-catering apartments, which we were impressed with. It would be so lovely to stay there in the summer as they have a swimming pool in the centre of the quad of the apartments.

Once we had dropped our bags off at the apartment we decided to go and explore. The main town of the island is St Peter's Port which was a 10 minute drive from where we staying. I do think hiring a car around the island is an excellent idea. We did see lots of buses which seem to provide a great transport link for citizens. However, a lot of the attractions which we went to were not centrally located and I think we would have struggled to get to some of them by using the buses. We spent our first early evening walking around the port and just enjoying the light sun with an ice cream.

Our first full day exploring we dedicated to doing some of the museums. We started off by going to the German Occupation Museum. Lots of the museums in Guernsey are self-funded rather than by government funds. This museum was run by an elderly man who was so lovely and welcoming, and I think it was a great museum. Before this visit, I did not know a lot about Guernsey's history especially during the wars. This museum focuses on World War 2, it provides a lot of insightful detailed information about the war and Guernsey's input. The island was occupied by the Germans in 1940 until the end of the war, and it discusses the evacuation of children and how the men were called up to fight with the British army. What me and my mum discussed after visiting the museum is how many items were on display, it has a brilliant set up and I hate it when museums are just all reading and nothing to relate or show what they are talking about. Overall, if you are interested in Guernsey history this is definitely a great museum to visit.




On the way to another museum, we had read in our guide book about an attraction called The Little Chapel. In the mid 1800's a man decided he wanted to build a little chapel (hence the name!), he built it over a number of years. On completion, he put it on view to the public and unfortunately it did not have the success which he had hoped for, due to it being very small. He therefore knocked it down and started all over again, and created the chapel which stands today. It is a beautiful little chapel which you can see in the picture surrounding the entire outside of the chapel is completely covered in different materials. It is very pretty to look at, and you are able to go inside. It has a narrow staircase where you go down to a little worship section. I told my mum it would be a great place to get married as it is so unique, but you wouldn't be able to have may guest inside! We really wanted to go to the German hospital war museum, as obviously I have an interest in the field of nursing and always love the look at the different ways medicine was performed and how it has changed over the years. When we got the museum unfortunately it was closed and a passerby told us it had been for a few months.




After looking through the guide book at everything which we ticked off, we decided to crack on with the museums and headed to the German Arms Museum. We found that this had had much more hype than the previous German museum I have talked out. Our entire family is into history so museums are something which we all enjoy. However, this one was just not for me. It was just as I should have expected, lots and lots of armouries. There are only so many different rifles and guns I can look at without becoming bored. My dad very much enjoyed it, but me and my mum found a bench to sit on in the sun whilst he finished looking round. After lots of walking round we decided to head back to the apartments and eat in as we were not in the mood to go out to a restaurant.

The next day we headed to an outlet place called Oatlands Village. It has a variety of different shops all selling different things. Some of the shops had homemade items such as sweets and chocolates, jewellery, homeware and gifts. There was also a great jewellery shop which had a half price sale on and I bought some lovely silver plated earrings. After getting some lunch in a lovely restaurant, we decided it was time to play crazy golf. I haven't got the best track record which playing crazy golf, my aim is not always on shot and I did loose. The sun was shining though and it was a barrel of laughs. We then went into St Peters port in the early evening for a look around the shops.


On the 4th day we decided to take a trip out to a national trust site called St Saumersz Park. This is a beautiful park which was gorgeous as it was a sunny day. Within the grounds of the park, there is a Folk and Costume Museum. This museum presents Guernsey through the ages and has lots of different things to look and participate in. What I liked about a lot of the museums there were not too busy, we have all been to tourist attractions in the UK and abroad where you have had to shuttle around like a cattle market and it makes things much less enjoyable as you cannot stroll around at a leisurely pace.

So you might be thinking that we must have been all "museumed" out by now. However, there was one museum that was recommended in every travel guide and was advertised widely throughout the country. This was the Guernsey Museum at Candie, it is located as the name says in the Candie Gardens. Within the museum are lots of different galleries displaying different exhibits. There was one collection called 1914-1918 medical services in the Great War, which was one of the best exhibitions I have ever been to. There was so much detail in the process of how the different medical services worked, and the different roles which everyone played during the years of the war. There was also an exhibit called the early people of Guernsey, which discusses how Guernsey became Guernsey and it takes you from the very start where they have evidence of the country being created, and through the different ages of time. I learnt a lot from this museum, and whilst we were on our holiday the premiere of the new movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was happening. There was so much hype surrounding the release of this due to the tourism it is hoping to create. In the museum they had clothing and some of the set from the movie on display. We decided to have some dinner at the museum, and there was a lovely cafe which out looked in to the Candie Gardens which was so tranquil and relaxing.



We had always planned to do some day trips whilst on the holiday and we had hoped to visit Jersey. However, the flights between the two islands were expensive and for a day return trip for three of us it would cost over £400. There are a few much smaller islands which make up The Channel Islands and one of them is the Isle of Sark. I am going to do a full post dedicated to this as I have quite a lot to write about. We got a return boat trip to Sark which costs £30 and we spent the entire day there. Keep your eyes peeled for this post next week.

The Sunday was our last full day on the island. We had a few things left on our list of places which wanted to visit. We headed to somewhere called Fort Grey which is a place that they used during the wars for a place to look out to sea. Inside the fort there is a little museum which tells you all about different ship wreckage's and the outcome of them. On the opposite side of the read was the Guernsey Pearl Museum. As the name suggests it sold lots of different pearls! It also gave lots of information of where you can source pearls from and how the size and colour depends on the pricing of pearls. In this museum and shop, they had a little tea room cafe which was lovely as it started to rain so gave us a little comfort break.

On the last day our flight was not until 5.30pm so we had pretty much the whole day to do a last little bit of exploring. In the morning we decided to into the St Peter's Port to pick up some souvenirs and gifts from our family. I also did a spot of shopping for myself. We then headed to a cute little cafe called Dix-Neuf where has gone earlier in the week and had a lovely luxury hot chocolate. As I have said we hired a car on this trip, and the sun was blazing hot on this day so we decided to go on a little trip to one of their many beaches. We sat in the sun on the rocks edge with a picnic and some chips from the chip shop, reading our books and just enjoying the last few hours on the island. Once we arrived at the airport (which is tiny!), the flight home was easy and we were very impressed as we did not have to queue for passport control in Manchester due to coming from a British isle.

Overall, I had such a pleasant and relaxing week in Guernsey. Before I went I really did not know what to expect but I have to say everyone is so welcoming, and they all seem to live a very relaxed lifestyle which we could definitely incorporate into our lives back in the UK. I understand people's desire to live on the small island, as there is enough to see and do, but there main town is still understated and did not have the hustle and bustle which I think we have in the UK. I think Guernsey would be a great place to visit in the summer as I have said it gets beautiful weather due to its location.

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Makeup Revolution Foundation Stick




After the launch of their new concealer which I have been using on a daily basis (I write a post which you can read here), I had high expectations for their new fast base foundation stick. The brand put emphasis on the creamy aspect of the foundation, and that was what drew me in it. I have previously found that creamy products have worked best with my dry skin, as matte products can feel dry and feel uncomfortable on the skin. This claims to have a more satin finish which also ticked a box as I like a more dewy finish.

I bought this in the shade F3 which is for fair skin with pink undertones, it is a good match but a little bit too light so I would maybe go for F5 next time. I once again was impressed with the shade range which includes 18 shades with all different undertones. The concealers and foundations are supposed to marry up in numbers which is very handy.

The day I bought this I literally could not wait to wear it. When I touched the texture of the foundation it was extremely creamy and felt a little bit oily in texture. This has an easy to apply twist stick which is very handy. I apply this straight onto my skin with strokes covering my entire face. I find that it does easily blend into the skin when using a damp beautyblender to apply this. The problem I have been having is that when I blend it in, I feel like it sits on the surface of the skin. If I touch my skin even 10 minutes after application, my skin feels greasy as it has not absorbed into the skin at all. I have different tried primers, setting sprays and my trusty setting powder but none of them seem to make a difference.

The actual wear of the foundation is not too horrific, once on the skin it does last a good amount of time. As I have said my skin is very dry at the moment, and it does still cling to my dry patches which is never a positive aspect to any product. I struggled with building it up and getting it to not look greasy due to the texture being so creamy. I am not sure what type of skin this would be best for, as with oily skin I feel like you would just look very shiny. I think if you have just a normal skin type this would probably be okay as it shouldn't look greasy and may sit better on the skin. It definitely offers more of a satin finish which is what it states, and it does give a slight glowy edge to the skin which I like.

I totally get where Makeup Revolution was trying to go with this. For £5, this is an okay foundation. You will probably guess though that overall right now I am disappointed with how this foundation looks on the skin. I would love them to bring out a foundation with the same consistency as the concealer. I totally get that a new foundation with a creamy consistency and a satin finish is needed on the drugstore market, and that was the reason I snatched it up so quickly. I have read many reviews of this foundation from both bloggers and on Superdrug's website, and I have not seen anyone who has said that it is a must have product. One of my friends also messaged me to say she was disappointed in the finish and wear on her skin. I am totally going to try this again once my skin is a lot less dry, and hopefully I will have a better outcome. Overall, unlike the concealer which I could not get enough of, this foundation has disappointed me. I think it is important to stay real and still blog about disappointing products which I would not necessarily recommend.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Ordinary Haul


So with my skin changing at such a fast pace, I thought it was time to step up my skincare range. Since The Ordinary launched I have tried quite a few of their products and I have always been impressed.

So my biggest skincare issue at the moment is dehydration. I thought I needed to invest in some products to really add some hydration back into my skin. Hylauronic acid 2% + B5 (£5.90) seems to have been my perfect answer. The formula claims to have different size molecules which are suppose to help penetrate instead of sitting on the surface of the skin, therefore adding hydration to all the layers of the skin.

To add some more hydration I picked up the 100% plant derived squalane (£5.50). This contains a high level of emollients which are suppose to once again be great at providing hydration but also prevent any loss of hydration already in the skin. Squalane is non-comedogenic which is supposed to reduce potential breakouts.

I have previously tried one of their primers when my skin was much oiler and I enjoyed using it. This time I decided to order their high spreadability fluid serum (£5.50), this is a fluid serum which comes with a peppet. This acts as the perfect last step before adding any base makeup products; therefore I want a light, hydrating primer which is going to be perfect for my makeup to settle on to. I have tried this quite a few times and I am enjoying using it. It is a little bit thicker than I thought it was going to be, but it does work well especially for drier skin. This contains silicon which is supposed to be the stand out product, as it adds a little bit of glow and life back into the skin.

Once again when I had oiler skin I tried their full coverage foundation which I thought was a good foundation, I wrote a whole blog post about it here. This time round I decided to try the Serum foundation (£5.70), which offers a lighter medium coverage. This shade range is fantastic and comes in 21 shades, I choose the shade 1.1P (light skin with pink undertones). This applies easily across the skin with my beautyblender and blends well into my skin. This has a semi-matte finish which has occasionally clings to the dry patches on my skin, but all of my foundations have been doing this at the moment. For the price this is a good foundation and I think this will be a go-to foundation in the summer for me, it contains SPF15 and it is lightweight enough for it not to feel too heavy on the skin.

This Natural moisturising factors + HA was one of the first products I ever bought from the brand. I originally bought this in the 30ml size as I wanted to trial it to see if it suited my skin or not. When I re-bought it this time round I got it in the bigger 100ml size and it cost just £6.80, which is such great value for money. The formula to this moisturiser contains 11 different amino acids which are aimed at helping the skin in lots of different ways. This also contains hyaluronic acid which is once again a hydrating agent. What I like about this is that it doesn't have a greasy texture. It has a smooth creamy consistency which is quite thick but still applies well to the entire face.

Have you got any skincare recommendations from The Ordinary?

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

One Month on Roaccutane


So I have been on roaccutane for one month now, and I thought it would be helpful for others who are considering going on the medication to give monthly updates. If you want to find out all about how I first got the medication and the process, I have put it in a post which you can read here. This is my first month's diary week by week as to how I have found it and the side effects so far.

In the first week I was prepared for my skin to 'purge'. To be fair my skin was much better than I thought it was going to be. I don't think my skin particularly purged, my skin broke out just as it would normally on a weekly basis.

In week two this is when my lips started to take their toll, I rushed out and bought a variety of different lip balms as I needed one in every handbag and pocket. I then noticed my skin becoming more sensitive than usual and put into place a very basic skincare routine which I will do a post on in a few weeks when I am sure my skin has not reacted to any products. What I can say is that there have been two products which my skin has not reacted to. One being Glossier's jelly milk cleanser and the other is La Roche-Posay's hydrating cream cleanser.

Week 3 was when I noticed that the tablets were really starting to kick in. On a night shift at work I went to the toilet at 2am in the morning, and I had to hold back my tears. My nose has really become dry and flaky, and has gone red as I have had to regularly exfoliate. I look like I have sunburn as the area is so delicate. When I looked into the mirror my foundation has clung to every dry part of my nose, and every follicle could be seen. I have been using two moisturisers and a primer before applying any makeup but it really doesn't seem to have had much effect. I also noticed the areas surrounding my lips becoming extra dry and big chunks of skin clinging on for dear life. During this week I noticed that my hair and scalp had become drier. I usually wash my hair every other day due to me feeling like it looks and feels greasy. However, I can now go at least 4 days with me still feeling that it looks okay, which to be fair has been great.

I think this past week has been the worst in terms of the dryness of my skin. My nose has continued to flake and it has become very sensitive to anything which I apply, this has now spread to under my nose. My problematic area of my acne has always been my chin and nose. I had huge clusters of pus filled spots to my chin and this was all hormonal. I got the occasional spot on my forehead and cheeks, but they were never a big issue. However, I have definitely seen a reduction of big spots around my chin. I have had some big under the skin spots which have been very itchy, and trying to leave them has been very difficult. I never thought that I would not be wearing makeup during this process, but I have not been enjoying applying makeup as the end result has been frustrating as everything I apply seems to just sit on top of the skin. On all of my days off I haven't been wearing any makeup at all. At work, I have been wearing it as it makes me feel more confident, but as soon as I get home it gets completely taken off there and then. On Friday, I wore 'going out' makeup for the first time since I started the medication. It took me about an hour to do my entire makeup as I did it slowly and carefully, and it actually looked okay. However, as I write this on Sunday evening my skin has seriously freaked out. I have broken out with three huge spots to the side of my head, and another two on my cheek and chin. This is all down the right side of my face which is strange. Hopefully, this will clear soon as I felt as though my skin was really improving. My lips have been the main problem though. The side of my lips have split and if I open my mouth fully it can bleed and it is very sore. My whole lips and surrounding areas are just flaking off, and unfortunately I think that is the way it is going to be for the next five months while I am on this medication.

Overall, this month was everything I expected. I had done a lot of research prior to going on to roaccutane so I was very much prepared. The only thing I have struggled with is the sensitivity of my skin, some days when washing my face it feels like I am having a chemical peel and it can really tingle and be painful. However, here's to month two and seeing what it has got in store for me.

Lucy
xoxo



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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer


(C3 top and C4 bottom)

So thanks to Holly Boon whose YouTube videos are sensational at the moment, the second she uploaded her review video of this new concealer I instantly clicked the link. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Makeup Revolution conceal and define concealer. It has been compared to lots of different high end well known concealers such as Nars' creamy concealer and Estee Lauder's double wear. I love concealers they are one of my favourite makeup items as someone with areas of blemishes that I want covering up, I want a product which is going to do just that. What everyone was very excited about with this range was the large selection of shades. There is 18 shades which I think is fantastic, in 2018 everyone should be able to buy a concealer that matches their skin. I don't know what these companies who bring out three shades (cough, cough Collection) are thinking, there must be so much more profit in providing a range for all. Makeup Revolution has since announced that there are going to be 30 shades in this range in the new future.

As always I got pulled into this hype mainly due to it being a high end dupe and the price. It costs just £4, yes just £4! Sophiedoesnail did a really good swatch video and review. I find her great to watch as she is fair skinned like me, and I found it super helpful to try and find my shade. I settled on the shade C4 originally as it is for light skin tones with a neutral undertone. This is a pretty decent match for my skin but it is a tiny bit too dark. I think this is due to the undertone being very prominent which I cannot complain about, but I am a mix of neutral and pink undertones. I have been using this for at least 6 weeks now which I think is enough time to give a detailed review, I literally bought this on its first day of sales. About 4 weeks ago when shopping in Superdrug I decided to get a back up, due to the C4 having the slightly too dark undertone I picked up C3 which is for fair skin tones with pink undertones. The undertones to this are perfect for me, much better than C4 but it is a little bit too light. However, I find this works well with my lighter foundations, and C4 works well for my darker foundations. I think next time I should probably try out C5 as that is for light skin tones with pink undertones, however when I have looked at swatches it looks way too dark. I will have to swatch in store and see what it looks like in real life.

This is a lightweight concealer which applies sooo easily. It comes with a big doe foot applicator which I love, you can hear that the bottle contains a vacuum when you pull the applicator out which will keep it from drying out. The size of the applicator means you can easily get it in all the areas you want it with no fuss and it takes very little time. This has a very creamy consistency which I love as it glides over the skin without needing to drag the product in anyway. Due to its consistency it has been compared to Nars' radiant creamy concealer, and I have just swatched them next to each other and they are very similar. The Nars version it is a little bit thicker, whereas the Makeup Revolution one has more fluidity to its texture. Both of these are high coverage which are buildable without looking cakey. I think this Makeup Revolution concealer is a dupe for the high version. The only difference is that the Nars one has a little more of a radiant finish, whereas the Makeup Revolution has a demi-matte finish.

I have tried soooooo many concealers over the years, and I am definitely a good candidate to try out the full coverage and long wearing claims. When I am at work from waking up to walking through the door at night, my makeup is on my face for 14 hours. This stays in places for a good 5-6 hours before any wear can be seen.

I think this would be fine for all skin types. When I first bought this my skin was dry with some oily areas, and I was honestly telling everyone to buy it. I was literally wearing it everyday and that was the reason why I went for a backup. Since then my skin has got very dry due to my medication, and I have noticed that is has been collecting in areas of dry patches. To be fair, I have found that all my base products have been doing this so I do not think it is necessarily this product.

I have seen a lot of discussion surrounding the amount of product you get in this concealer bottle. Looking at the glass bottle you would think that it would contain a lot of product, when in fact it contains 3.4ml. In comparison with other concealers such as the Estee Lauder double wear which contains 7ml, and Nars' creamy concealer which has 6ml, so in the grand scheme of things it does contain a lot less product. I then went on a little mission with all of my other drugstore concealers, as I was intrigued to see how much they all contained. To my surprise my Sephora full coverage contained only 2.5ml, Seventeen stay time has 7ml and Colourpop no filter has 4ml. It is interesting as I never really look at the amount each product contains, but for £4 I think Makeup Revolution have had to make a cut somewhere to keep the product cheap. Therefore, you are obviously going to use it up quicker, hence me saying I bought the back up so soon. However, I still think buying two at £8 and having 6.8ml is still a bargain.

You can probably tell I have really enjoyed using this concealer, and it is by far one of the best drugstore products from any brand to be released in a long time.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Glossier Priming Moisturizer


I bought this months ago in my first ever Glossier order. The Glossier priming moisturizer is part of their phase 1 skincare set which costs £35 (saving £8), which also includes the balm dot com and jelly cleanser. I recently put up a post about their jelly cleanser which you can read here. I have been using this for a good month or two now, and I have to say I have really enjoyed using it.

It has a cream like consistency just like a moisturiser would. This is what contributes to it feeling as though it has really sunk into the skin. At first I was a little dubious about this as many people said to skip the priming moisturiser and go straight in with their priming moisturizer rich, but when I originally ordered this my skin did not need as much priming as it does at the moment. My skin is very dry currently, I apply this after my two moisturisers and it adds the last step to try to keep my base makeup looking the best it can. It evens the skin tone, but also you are able to layer it up if necessary without it feeling too thick on the skin. I have been adding an extra layer onto the areas where my skin is particularly dry to try and prevent my foundation from flaking, budging and most importantly creating an even application.

One of the things I love about Glossier is their simplicity. They contain simple ingredients and are not pumped with lots of parabens and fragrances, which often upset my skin. All round this is a great product, which I have very much been enjoying using. It is definitely a multi-purpose product. I read in the reviews on the Glossier that many people use this just as a moisturiser day and night. Like I have said, I use this as the last stage before applying my makeup, as I think it is a little bit more than just a moisturiser and it creates a good canvas. It has a much runnier formula than what I am used to but that creates a slightly tacky base. All round for £18 each, I think this would work well on all skin types and I will be recommending it to my friends.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 25 March 2018

La Roche-Posay Skincare



With my skin turning into what feels like a desert at the moment due to my medication, I was in desperate need of some skin saving products. I have used La Roche-Posay many times, and I have always been impressed. The pricing to their products stand somewhere in the middle of drugstore and high end.

I did quite a bit of research into what products would work best for my skin. Katie Snooks has been an absolute life saver and in this video talks about how La Roche-Posay have created a range for people who are on medication for their acne. It contains ingredients which are not going to be too harsh on the skin or cause any side effects.

I was in desperate need of a cleanser which wasn't going to strip my skin of any hydration which it may have left, and if possible add some moisture. I have been using the Glossier jelly cleanser and I have really been enjoying using it, however I needed something to go alongside it which had a lighter texture. The effaclar H cleansing cream states its target audience is skin made fragile by over drying treatments. That is the definition of my skin in one sentence. I have been using this for 3 weeks now morning and night and I love it. It is a light textured cream which lathers in your hands, I then apply it to my wet face and cover my entire face. The cleanser eliminates impurities without over drying or adding any uncomfortable tightness to the skin.

The effaclar H moisturiser has been working hand in hand with the cleanser. After drying my face after using the cleanser, I then apply the multi compensating soothing moisturiser to my entire face. I need something which is going to add as much hydration and moisturiser as humanly possible. This is targeted for weak and fragile skin. I like this a lot, it has quite a thick creamy texture which does add hydration. However, I use this in combination with my Kiehl's ultra facial oil-free cream as it is not quite enough on its own.

I have never owned Elizabeth Arden's eight hour cream, but I imagine it to be just like this La-Roche Posay cicaplast baume B5 which is a soothing repairing balm. This is a double action cream which soothes and protects skin which is irritated and sensitive. It is an all round product to keep in the bottom of your handbag for when you are in need. You can use it on your face, hands, lips and body. During the day I have found that my lips and hand are what have been taken the brunt of the side effects of the medication, and I can apply this for some quick relief. It is not too thick or rich which is great as it rubs into the skin easily.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Benefit Badgal Bang Mascara




 



Well there’s no denying Benefit went all out with the launch of their latest mascara. There was bloggers whisked off to the Maldives and they only discovered themselves whilst on the holiday what the launch was for.

I have to say I was a little underwhelmed when I heard it was another mascara. However, the Benefit mascaras are definitely what put the brand on the map. Me being me I wanted to try it out, like any launch which has such hype surrounding it. If you have been a reader of my blog since the start, you will know how much I struggle to find great mascaras. I only have a few in my collection as when I find one that I like, I stick with it until it has run out. My most recent go to has been the L’Oreal Paradise. My lashes are long but sparse so I need one that gives me the most volume possible and this does the job perfectly.

The Benefit Badgal Bang mascara states to do literally everything you would want in a mascara. It promises to lift, lengthen and add lots of volume. A bold claim which I wanted to put to the test. Now this mascara also claims to contain brand new, never before seen gravity defying ingredients which are suppose to not weigh your lashes down. It states it is a “gravity defying formula containing aero-particles one of the lightest materials, derived from space technology”. It all sounds very new and exciting.

So the most important part of a mascara for me is the wand. I think the wand is what makes a mascara a hit or miss. This one is much thinner than what I had imagined. It is in a slight cone shape which starts thicker at the top and finishes smaller at the tip. I do not think the bristles are particularly long but they differ in size along the brush. I find that the bristles grip the lashes well which helps to build length from tip to root. I also find curling my eyelashes before application definitely helps to build the volume.

A downside to this product is how wet the formula is. After I apply it I have to ensure I leave a good few minutes before adding any setting spray as it easily smudges. This can also cause smudging when first applying, and the formula can end up catching on my eyelid which can be hell of annoying when I have spent 20 minutes trying to get the perfect blended eyeshadow. Therefore, I know that I have to apply it in smaller amounts and build it up to prevent any smudges from occurring.

This is a nice mascara that does work well at building length and volume. However, I am not particularly raving from the rooftops about it. I do not think it is quite as revolutionary as it makes out, and it is not a product which I would tell my friends to run out and buy. It's a good mascara which does the job, but it still does fulfil my dream mascara expectations.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Hamburg Sephora Haul


When I went to Hamburg I may have slipped, tripped and accidentally fell into Sephora. At the moment I am on the look out for any type of hydrating products, and I bought quite a few things from Sephora's own collection. I purchased the almond foot mask, which I have tried before in the lavender scent and I loved it. This is the comforting and repair sock mask, which you wear as they are an actual pair of socks which contain moisturising properties. I also picked up the shea lip mask which protects and repairs, it looks amazing and I cannot wait to try to this. I am excited to try the purple clay mask, which can be used alone or to multi-task in combination with any of the other seven masks in this line. The purple clay masks purpose is to moisturising and smoothes. This was only about 6 euros and I was really impressed as you get 4 uses out it, it comes with a screw on lid so hopefully it will not go hard and should stay fresh for future uses.

I bought two more items from the Sephora collection, the first is the rose moisturising cream. I have never seen this before on previous visits to Sephora, and I was intrigued to try it out. The moisturising creams have a smooth and lightweight texture that quenches and brightens the skin. What drew me into buying this is how it says it hydrates and adds nourishment to the skin, but does not leave any oily or sticky residue. As I spent over a certain amount of money, the assistant gave me a free lotus sleeping mask. I did not realise until now that this was not a sample and they actually sell these on an individual basis. This sleeping mask line has a rich cream-gel texture, and aims to lock in water and reduce any signs of fatigue. I also picked up the Sephora brush cleaning sponge, which I love the idea of. There is nothing worse than the prospect of cleaning makeup brushes, it is a chore which I hate to do.

The detailing to the packaging of this new Sephora's own brand line is stunning. I started swatching the #lipstories line and the formula felt really creamy and the pigmentation was beautiful. I picked up the shade spring break (36) which has a satin finish. It is a everyday, wearable pink nude (nothing new!) and I instantly added it into my basket. At the till I was looking at all of the extra items which always draw me in. I saw this Lanolips lemonade lip treatment, and I quickly tried the tester and I loved it. It felt super soft to apply, so without a second thought I threw it in at the tills and I cannot wait to put this to the test.

I am really happy with everything which I picked up on this Sephora trip. For once, I think I actually did not go overboard and I will get good use out of all of these products. If there is any hits which I totally love, I will report back soon.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

German Supermarket Haul


In my Hamburg travel post, I mentioned that there was a supermarket which we went a little crazy in. We had been on a hot and stuffy bus tour for 2 hours, and when we got off we were very thirsty. We went into this supermarket called Rossmann for just a quick drink, but our eyes were instantly drawn in to the confectionery aisle.

Firstly, we found some cute little chocolate bars with bunnies imprinted in them. I don't know what it is, but when you are in a different country the prospect of trying new chocolate is just so exciting. I bought one bar for myself and two for little presents for my friends. These were just 0.69 each. I also bought two big chocolate bunnies for presents for my grandparents, but unfortunately one got entirely smashed on the way home as they are hollow.

On the way to the makeup aisle which I had spied at the back of the store, I stumbled across an entire stand dedicated to lip balms. I have been buying lip balms left, right and centre recently as my lips are so dry. I was really intrigued by this lip balm which cost just 0.40, it was on promotion and I wanted to test it out. There was a really great array of brands in Rossmann, and I was really impressed by the amount of makeup on offer. I only had a few minutes to have a look, as my sister knows I can spend quite a long time browsing the aisles. I saw that there was a Catrice stand, and was instantly drawn in. I have bought a few items from Cartice previously when I have been on holiday in Italy, but the brand is unfortunately not sold in the UK. First of all, I picked up their liquid camouflage full coverage concealer. I am always on the hunt for new drugstore concealers which are great, so I shall be putting this to the test shortly. I also picked up one of their liquid metal everlasting cream eyeshadows in the shade daily dose of rose, as with one swatch of the tester it looked incredible. It was shiny and shimmering rather than glittery and it felt silky soft to apply. Both of the makeup items were 3.95 each.

Whilst waiting in the queue to pay I did a bit of panic buying, throwing into my basket anything and everything which looked vaguely interesting. I added to my basket the Haribo bunnies as these just looked so cute, and the Orbit strawberry chewing gum. Everything which I bought came to 17 which I think is really good value for everything I got.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Imperial Leather Unicorn Marshmallow Foamburst



Whilst browsing the aisles of the supermarket I saw this new Imperial Leather Unicorn Marshmallow Foamburst on a stand. There's no denying that the packaging caught my eye and made me drawn into the display. I have been a huge fan of Imperial Leather's foamburst for years, and when I was younger I remember my mum buying it me as a treat. There is no denying that this instantly took me back to my childhood. I am not quite sure where this recent unicorn phenomenon has come from, but I am definitely on board with it.

The thing which I love the most of the foamburst line is how once you spray it out of the can it is a soft pink thick liquid, as soon as it hits water it instantly disputes into a thinner white foam which feels incredibly soft to touch. The best bit is applying it to your body as it feels so silky smooth, and it leaves your skin feeling moisturised. I do like the scent of marshmallow, but sometimes in products it can be a little overwhelming. In this, it contains just the right amount of sweetness and does not smell sickly.

The bottle advertises that you get 40 showers out of one bottle. I think this is a little optimistic as I always get excited and I probably squirt out a little too much. A little does go a long way though as once the water hits the liquid the amount of foam doubles in size. All in all, this is not just a fun product. I think this is actually a very good body wash and it is not just all about the gimmicks. I like the scent, it feels soft to touch, and moisturises the skin. The normal price is £3.15 which is such a bargain, but even better it is currently on an introductory offer for just £2.00 in all retailers. I am definitely going to be stocking up as it such a lovely product.

Lucy
xoxo


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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser




In 2017 Glossier landed in the U.K. with a bang, and as always I needed a piece of the action. On the day of the launch I was online at the crack of dawn to buy everything in sight. As always I had done my research and I wanted everything.

The milky jelly cleanser is nothing fancy, but it does not claim to be. It is a cleanser which you can use day or night as a first or second cleanser. I have been using this mostly at night after removing my makeup with micellar water, as a deeper cleanse to ensure all traces of my makeup have gone. I feel that this is a great non fuss product, and that is the exact reason why Glossier as a brand is doing so well. The cleanser is £15, which I think is a great price. Glossier has put themselves slap bang in the middle ground between the drugstore and high end.

It says to use on dry skin to dissolve makeup, or to use on wet skin as a first daily cleanse. I use this day and night but I prefer to use it on wet skin, as I think it provides a more thorough cleanse. This has a creamy gel consistency which I find leaves my skin feeling fresh and most importantly clean. I hate that feeling after using a cleanser when your skin doesn't feel thoroughly cleansed. It claims to have five essential ingredients which when combined together create this beautiful concoction of this cleanser. Like I have already said, this is a no frills product. However, this is the exact reason as to why I like it. In terms of the product containing a scent, rosewater is used rather than standard water and that gives it a very subtle scent. I am not a big fan of my skincare products having scents which are too overwhelming, but the rosewater gives the cleanser the perfect finishing touch.

As you know my skin is very dry at the moment, and this has been really great at taking my makeup off. I think this is due to not containing any harsh ingredients which could cause any further dryness or making my skin react in anyway. Glossier you get a big thumbs up on this from me on this!

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Hamburg


Last weekend I went on my first trip of the year to Hamburg. It is not somewhere which was particularly at the top of my must see places, but there is a little story behind how we ended up there. So you may remember last October, I went to Madrid with my best friends. I had a fabulous time, however the holiday was not quite as smooth as we had expected. It was the time where Ryanair cancelled tens of thousands of flights. We were the unlucky people who got hit with this and our flight back to Manchester got cancelled and we ended up flying back to London. Ryanair were not giving compensation due them offering us a flight back to the UK. They gave each flyer a voucher for £80 to spend on any flights before June 2018. At first, I was so angry that the flight was cancelled and vowed to never fly with them again. After the holiday, I had the usual holiday blues so on the last day possible me and my sister started searching flights. My sister is a teacher so is tied to school holidays. However, we found return flights from Manchester to Hamburg for both of us for just £56! We booked the flights on the whim, and decided if we did not want to go nothing would be lost. 

We decided nearer the time we really fancied going and booked our hotel at the Holiday Inn Express which cost us £120 for both of us for two nights. So really we only had to pay £60 each to get there and back, and have our accommodation covered. Our flights left Manchester at 06.35 in the morning, so it was a 3am wake up call for us. The flight was only one hour and 20 mins, and with the one hour time difference we arrived at 9am. We headed straight to the hotel after collecting our cases, to drop them off and recoup. The service from the hotel was exceptional as it was so early we thought we would have to put them in the suitcase room, but they had our room already ready. It was a spacious twin room with a lovely bathroom and all the basic necessities you need. The hotel was located in Lubecker Strasse, which was a great location. It was a little bit out of the city centre, but it is conveniently located just a five minute walk to two different u-bahn (underground tram) stations. To get into the city centre from the hotel there was a direct tram which was just three stops, an approximate 15 minute journey. From the airport we bought a ticket which cost €3.30 and there was a direct journey to the Landbehr s-bahn station, which was also just a short walk to the hotel.

We had already planned most of the trip before we went as we were literally in the city for just 48 hours. We had bought a guide book and had done quite a bit of research before we set off. Me and my sister love zoos there is no denying it and we love to visit them whenever we are able to. The zoo was called the Tierback Hagenback and is located in Stellingen. It was easy to get to, but as expected it took about 30 minutes to get to as it was outside the city centre. Both of the full days we were there we bought all day tram tickets that cost €6.70. When we arrived we discovered that there was also an aquarium attached the zoo, so we decided to buy the combination ticket for €30 for both attractions. 

 



The zoo was huge, much bigger than we thought it would be. It had so many amazing animals including some which I have never seen before including walruses and chinese leopards. I have been to quite a few zoos over the years all over the world, and this zoo had many endangered species including polar bears and red pandas. I was so excited at the prospect of seeing brown bears as they are such inquisitive animals, and I am a massive lover of paddington bear. However, they were not in their outdoor enclosure, and unfortunately you couldn't see their indoor one. Hamburg is a cold place and they had had some snow over the weekend before we arrived so there was quite a lot of ice in the park. We came to the conclusion for the safety of the animals, most of them were kept indoors.  




We had our first experience of German food at the zoo, as I had bratwurst and fries which tasted incredible. After the zoo which took us at least 5 hours to go round, it was time to head to the aquarium. It was once again massive; it had such a great array of sea life. There was a walkway all the way round where there was lots of different species of sea creatures from fish to turtles. There was also a huge cinema size tank which you could follow around the aquarium, you could also sit and watch all the creatures swimming by. It contained once again a variety of fish, but also stingrays and smaller sharks. It was mesmerising to see and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There was also a huge tank of jellyfish and my favourites the clown fish as I adore finding nemo.


  


After we had finished at the aquarium it was around 6pm and as it was a Sunday, we thought that if we went back into the city centre there would be nothing open during the Sunday trading. Therefore, we decided to head back to the hotel to recoup before heading out for our tea. When we were on our way back to the hotel we decided to go for a little walk, the hotel staff had said on our arrival that there were a number of restaurants on the street where the hotel was situated. There was a lovely little Italian we had stumbled across 2 minutes from the hotel, so decided we would go back there later in the evening to eat. As we had been up since 3am, we went to the restaurant at around 7.30pm. We both ate lasagnes and it was a lovely little restaurant with one man running everything. We strolled back to the hotel, and decided we would have a drink in the hotel lobby before heading to bed. We had a quick glance at the menu and quickly concluded it would cost €9 for a single vodka and lemonade. Me and my sister did that awkward glance at each other, and quickly backtracked and just ordered soft drinks. 

The next morning we woke up at 8am, and headed downstairs to the breakfast buffet which was included in our hotel booking. We had decided the night before that we would go on a bus tour of the city to see the sites at a glance, and would get off along the way if we saw anywhere where we wanted a further look. When we arrived we discovered the tours only ran every hour and we had just missed the start of one tour, so we had an hour to wait before the next one commenced. We did a quick Google search, and found out that Sephora was conveniently located just 5 minutes away. It is located inside a shopping department store called Galeria. It had a great array of different brands, and I obviously had to treat myself to a few things. A haul will be on the way in the next few weeks!

We finally made it on to the tour and we were able to see many of the main attractions Hamburg has to offer. First up, we saw the Hamburg Rathaus. This is the Hamburg's city hall and is the seats of government. It was built in the late 1800's, and has some amazing features. The building is a masterpiece, and is definitely the statement of the city.


St Paul's Church was beautiful and you are able to go inside for a further look. It was such a well kept church, and it has some gorgeous stained-glass windows inside. The architecture from the outside was timeless and I love how it has kept its original ornate features. 


Further around the tour we saw many more impressive buildings including the library, grand theatre and post office. On the tour we learnt that Hamburg is well known for its theatres, and the city hosts the largest number of theatre productions after New York and London.




The tour took nearly 2 hours to go around the entire circuit. After the tour had finished, we decided to head to the main shopping street called the Spitalerstrasse. We needed a drink so decided to nip into what looked like a very basic supermarket. We were very pleasantly surprised as we quickly got coaxed in by the chocolate aisle. It was so cheap and we decided to buy all of our souvenirs in here. We got caught up in the moment, and before I know it I had a basket and was heading down to the makeup aisle. Even though my basket was full I only spent €17. I am going to a German supermarket haul, as I honestly picked up so fabulous things. 

We then headed for a spot of shopping and stumbled across a huge shopping centre called Europa Passage which is located on the Monckebergstrasse. It had five floors, and lots and lots of shops mostly high street but some high end also. We spent a good hour wandering around here, and then went for some dinner at one of the cafes. By this time it was 4 o clock, and we decided to head to the higher end of the shopping parade called the Neuer Wall. We took a look in Abercrombie and Fitch, where my sister treated herself. I then went for a gander in Gucci, as those sneakers will be mine at some point. 

The weather over both days in the cities was very cold. The temperature was about 1 degree celsius, and there was a constant bitter wind. However, we were just glad there was no snow or rain, and the weather was actually quite bright and pleasant. We just made sure we wrapped up warm. To warm up a little we headed to Starbucks for a quick tea break, and took a little time to recoup. 

We had decided we would treat ourselves and go to The Hard Rock Cafe for our last meal. We usually have to wait a while as they are always so busy, but we only had a 20 or so minute wait. Yes it is overpriced, but I always thoroughly enjoy the food that they offer. The burgers we had were delicious, but once again alcohol was expensive and our cocktails were €10 each. We decided we would just have one each as a holiday treat. In all honestly after the burgers, we were in food comas and our feet were killing from all the shopping. We arrived back at the hotel at 9pm, and decided we would pack our bags and settle down for the night watching the winter Olympics. Our flight home the next day was at 09.35, so we needed to get up at 6am.

On the last day, we headed down for breakfast once again and headed back on the tram to the airport. The airport was huge, and the process through security and on to the plane home was very smooth. 

We would have liked to have spent another full day in the city, as we had planned to go the miniature wonderland which is the world's largest model railway system. We got a bit carried away with our afternoon shopping, and we just could not fit it in. Ryanair only flew to Hamburg three times a week so the flights were very limited. 

Overall, we both had a fabulous time in Hamburg and we both said we were really glad that we went. However, I don't think it is a city to visit for a long period of time. I think three full days is the perfect amount of time to be able to see and do all the sites. There aren't a huge number of sites to visit, and you can definitely fit a few things into one day. We thought everything (except alcohol!) was good priced, and to put things into perspective we spent €200 each over the 48 hours. We did both spend about €50 on personal shopping though!

Lucy
xoxo

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